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U of G Student Hacky Sack World Champion

November 23, 2006

Source: University of Guelph

A first year University of Guelph student is one of the top five Hacky Sack competitors in the world. Math student Jorden Moir brought two first place titles home last week from a footbag competition in Ithaca, New York. At the 2006 world championships in Frankfurt, Germany, Moir earned the first place the title for a freestyle event called the shred 30.

Moir willl be giving a footbag demo on City TVís Breakfast Television tomorrow between 7:45 and 8:30 a.m. and will be on CKCO news at 6 p.m. tonight.

"The shred is like a 100-metre sprint," said Moir. "You have 30 seconds to do the most difficult and unusual tricks possible without dropping the footbag. It's all about speed and agility and keeping the bag low enough to do as many tricks as possible."

Despite the popularity of footbag around the world, it's still considered an underground sport and only a few people do it professionally, said Moir, who grew up in Dundas, Ont.

"We try to promote it as much as we can. Obviously not everyone's going to play it, but we want people to know that the sport exists, that there are serious athletes who train for it and that it spans far beyond just kicking."
"Footbag has helped me develop as a person, given me confidence and helped me interact with people," he said. "It also keeps me in shape."

He's been to 36 competitions throughout North America and Europe, including contests in Toronto, Montreal, Chicago and Seattle. Last year, he was flown to Copenhagen to give a demonstration at Denmark's national competition. He also competed in the world championships in Helsinki, Finland, placing third in the 30-second shred and fourth in the open singles freestyle. This August, he placed second at the U.S. Open in Portland, Ore.

Each freestyle trick has a certain number of points, and points are determined by the complexity of the trick. Moirís skill level allows for up to eight points per trick, he said, adding that in Germany he racked up 240 points in 30 seconds, and his personal best is 268.

"If you invent the trick, you get to name it, and some of the names are pretty ridiculous," said Moir, who has developed more than 50 tricks, including "the lawnmoir."

The moves mastered by professional-level footbaggers like Moir are often so quick that the human eye can readily miss some of the finer elements. In competition, the routines are videotaped so they can later be slowed down for the judges to accurately score the performance.

He sometimes adds another layer to his performance by throwing in a second footbag and a series of red balls that he juggles while keeping the footbags in constant motion.

His next competition is in Prague in early 2007. A series of videos of him in action has been uploaded to and can be accessed by keying "Jorden Moir" into the search field.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, 519 824- 4120, Ext. 53338, or Rachelle Cooper, Ext. 56982.



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